Exclusive: An Interview With Tim Chaisson From The East Pointers

Lead Photo: Jen Squires

JUNO-award winning, Prince Edward Island based The East Pointers recently released their new single “Two Weeks” from their sophomore LP ‘What We Leave Behind’. The melancholy song was co-written with Grammy awarding winning Gordie Sampson amid recording sessions at Nashville’s famed Sound Emporium last winter, where What We Leave Behind was cut. The song documents a passage depressingly common in the bands’ home province of Prince Edward Island and played out the world over in economically challenged communities: the need to leave home and travel far away from friends and family to find work.

The new album was produced by superstar East Coast-bred songwriter/producer Gordie Sampson and features a diverse selection of songs ranging from somber and hauntingly beautiful to joyous and celebratory. What We Leave Behind carves a new path for The East Pointers, as they continue to blur the lines between traditional and popular music and develop a devoted fan-base around the globe.

The East Pointers - What We Leave Behind - album cover high res_preview

The East Pointers’ – fiddler/singer Tim Chaisson, banjoist Koady Chaisson and guitarist Jake Charron – blistering live shows and palpable authenticity make their instrumental tunes practically cartwheel and infuses their lyric-driven songs with poignancy and grace. The folk power trio who mix dynamic transatlantic Celtic sounds with three part-harmonies have been collecting accolades since the release of their debut album Secret Victory including, a 2017 Juno Award for “Traditional Roots Album of the Year” as well as a 2016 Canadian Folk Music Award for “Ensemble of the Year”.

The band is currently in the midst of a massive international tour that started last fall and included dates in the UK, Australia and New Zealand; they are currently continuing their journey across Canada.

We had the opportunity to catch up with Tim Chaisson to discuss songwriting, their new single and what’s next.

Kat: Could you talk about the inspiration behind your single “Two Weeks”?

TC: Well, the conversation of ‘two weeks on, two weeks off’ is a common one around home. We have so many family and friends who travel to Alberta to make their living (Koady did it for a while before taking up the tenor banjo full time). We know from being surrounded by it that it’s not always easy. When we were writing with Gordie Sampson (another east coaster) we took a crack at writing something that captured that struggle and a few hours later the song was done.

Kat: What is your songwriting process like?

TC: It’s always different! We spend so much time on the road that we don’t necessarily block out specific ‘writing times’. With tune writing, we’re always kinda picking at it but we’ve been enjoying co-writing with our friends when we have a few days off on the road. Just whenever inspiration strikes!

The East Pointers 2018 (photo credit Jen Squires)_preview

Kat: Could you speak a little on your musical idols or role models?

TC: Oh geez, there are so many. Koady and I grew up on Prince Edward Island so we were basically exposed only to east coast folk artists – The Rankin Family, Natalie MacMaster, Great Big Sea, (along with our older siblings and cousins who were monster players). There was also Sloan and Joel Plaskett Emergency who tore it up too. All three of us bonded over trad music initially though since it was our first musical passion.

Kat: Have you ever been given any advice in regards to your music career that you felt you really connected with or made an impact?

TC: Treating everyone good, at all times. The connections you develop with other musicians and music lovers is a special one that not everyone gets to experience. We’re just lucky to be able to do what we do and we’re very grateful :)

Kat: What’s on your playlist right now?

TC: A mix! Lately though… John Butler Trio, Alysha Brilla, Bruce Springsteen, Bahamas, Donovan Woods, Liz Carroll… So much more.

Kat: What can your fans expect from you next?

TC: More touring! We’re in Canada for the next few weeks and then USA until May. And then summer festivals! Woo!

To discover more about The East Pointers visit: http://eastpointers.ca

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